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Suburbs vs districts[edit]

Moved here from Wikitravel talk:What is an article?.

Something that's come up in Talk:Sydney: what do we do about individual suburbs within a huge city. You can divide Sydney into 10 or so districts, but it is also divided into 100 or so suburbs. Most of these suburbs are purely residential (ie they fail the "do you sleep there?" test for travellers because they have no traveller accomodation) but about 10 of them are attractions in their own right (especially Bondi). So, do we include these in the district pages? Give them their own articles? And is it Bondi or Sydney/Bondi?

We don't need to follow administrative boundaries exactly, but we don't want to split up a city in more sections than necessary. So if Bondi is a worthwhile place to go and distinct from any other district, yet still a part of Sydney, then Sydney/Bondi it is. Jpatokal 06:39, 17 Sep 2004 (EDT)
It can also be good to set up a region article for the area around the city. We had a similar issue with Los Angeles, and re-architecting so that we had Los Angeles County and Southern California pages made it a lot easier.
Also, absolutely Bondi, not [[Sydney/Bondi]]. The sub-pages are only for use in districts, and it doesn't sound like Bondi is a district of Sydney. --Evan 15:21, 17 Sep 2004 (EDT)
The Sydney metropolis extends right to the boundaries of its "region", so I don't think this would be that useful in that case. The entire region is already covered by the metropolis's districts. The regions immediately surrounding it are Blue Mountains, Illawara and Central Coast and these either already exist or are linked from New South Wales -- Hypatia 05:24, 18 Sep 2004 (EDT)
I'm not entirely clear on what you mean by "district". Bondi is an a popular beach area that is very much within the Sydney metropolis. People from Bondi would answer "Sydney" if asked "where do you live?" by someone from elsewhere in Australia, but "Bondi" if asked "which suburb do you live in?" The suburbs are essentially a sub-district each with their own shopping area -- there's 10 or 20 of them for each "district" we listed in Sydney. -- Hypatia 05:27, 18 Sep 2004 (EDT)
Just an aside, don't forget to list it under Get out of Sydney. Also try to check out a hotel or two. They usually let me look at the rooms even if I say I'm going to write about the place for a travel guide. -- Mark 17:06, 17 Sep 2004 (EDT)
Bondi is part of the Sydney/Southern Beaches district, does it make sense to list it under Get Out? -- Hypatia 05:24, 18 Sep 2004 (EDT)
Whether or not it's a district or a suburb should be up to you to decide, but I would guess that if Sydney/Southern Beaches is really a collection of suburban beaches, then maybe it shouldn't be a district of Sydney at all, but rather a region. If on the other hand it is part of Sydney then it should be. Those of us who have never been to Sydney wouldn't be able to answer those questions.
At any rate maybe there is some refactoring to be done? -- Mark 06:50, 18 Sep 2004 (EDT)
The refactoring is a bit unclear to me. People in Sydney and Australia would never think of leaving Sydney to go to Bondi. Bondi is in Sydney, no two ways about it. Further, a traveller would come to Sydney to see Bondi, which is thought of as a Sydney attraction. As a Sydneysider, I can't think of any way to define Sydney that would exclude Bondi and still make sense to either the inhabitants or to travellers.
The only way I can think of to do this is to turn Sydney from a city into a region. In some ways this is actually true (it has a number of municipal boundaries within it, it has a number of distinct areas, and the land occupied is enormous), but it doesn't fit in a number of ways (it's thought of as a city by inhabitants and travellers, and further, inhabitants don't think of any part of it as "Sydney the city, surrounded by Sydney the region"). Further, it (not some part of it) is actually defined as the capital city of New South Wales and as part of the group of major cities including Melbourne, Adelaide and so on. It's worth noting that local tourism groups and associated advertising regard the entire area as one "unit" called Sydney.
So: Sydney is a city to its inhabitants and to travellers. In terms of land area it is a really enormous city though, and in some ways acts more like a region. Unless you want to divide it into hundreds of districts, any "district" of Sydney will contain a number of suburbs, and the easternmost ones will contain about 20km of separate beaches.
Someone I know in the Bay Area thinks this is a fundamental distinction in the way Australians think about cities. If the Bay Area was in Australia, likely we would regard it as a single city, not a region.
It's definitely the case that people in Sydney think of it as a very large (land area) city, which a number of districts which are also quite large -- some of the ones listed in Sydney are a larger size than the whole of New York (city) or San Francisco for example. Within those districts though, there are sometimes, but not always, suburbs of special interest to tourists, including Bondi, Manly, Coogee, Newtown, Parramatta and a few others.
Anyway, in summary, I've lived there for seven years, and the current "Sydney is a city" decision and the existing districts (with maybe a few exceptions -- Sydney/Southern Beaches not being one of them) make sense to me. It would definitely ring false to write "Sydney is a region of New South Wales containing the cities of Sydney, Parramatta, Bondi... Sydney has the following regions: Northern Beaches....". -- Hypatia 08:39, 18 Sep 2004 (EDT)